The Japanese logistics company will offer a train, marine and air combined transport service between Asia and Europe via the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, multiple media sources reported.
Japanese logistics company Nippon Express plans to offer speedy, low-cost cargo transportation between Japan and Europe on trans-Eurasia trains via the Belt and Road Initiative, multiple media sources reported.
Nippon Express currently offers air or marine shipment of cargo between Japan and Europe, and will add a service combining the two modes this spring, local media source Nikkei Asian Review said. Shipments from Japan will go to the seaport or airport closest to a Chinese train station, as Nippon Express will use a regularly scheduled cargo train service out of Shanghai and Wuhan in China, and Hamburg and Duisburg in Germany. Following train transport to Europe, or to Asia, the cargo will be trucked to its final destination.
The service will shorten transit times to between 20 and 30 days – down from the usual 40 days via a marine-only route. Sea-train service will slash costs by 50-60 percent compared with air-only shipping, and the air-train combination will save 30-40 percent, said Nikkei Asian Review.
Furthermore, media reports said that Nippon Express has negotiated with Chinese customs authorities to enable smooth transfers of cargo to and from trains and is considering similar arrangements for rail cargo shipments between Southeast Asia and Europe via China as well.
Nippon Express plans to transport mainly autoparts and electrical equipment components with initial capacity targets around 20 large containers per month.
China has been pushing direct cargo services to and from Europe as part of its Belt and Road Initiative. According to Nikkei Asian Review, direct cargo train runs totaled about 3,000 for January to November 2017, double the full-year tally for 2016.